Knee no longer hampering Tracy
D-backs first baseman thriving this spring without nagging injury
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time in three years, Chad Tracy is able to completely focus on baseball without interruption from an aching right knee.
"It's not a factor," Tracy said.
That's quite a statement considering the knee had hampered the D-backs infielder since 2006 and forced him to undergo microfracture and lateral release surgery in late September 2007.
Tracy has looked sharp at the plate this spring, hitting .389 heading into Saturday's game with the Royals.
"I don't think I am seeing the ball particularly well, either," Tracy said. "As long as I am squaring some up, I'm happy."
Once a third baseman, Tracy is back playing some at the hot corner, and D-backs manager Bob Melvin has liked what he's seen so far this spring in Tracy's time there, as his range seems better and he's able to throw off his back leg when he needs to.
If Tracy is able to play third during the regular season, it would give Melvin the option of playing him there occasionally against tough right-handers in place of Mark Reynolds.
"It's good for us to have options," Melvin said.
Tracy does things to treat the knee before and after games, and he has developed a routine that works.
"You get a little smarter, a little wiser as you get older," Tracy said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.